Reflections on a lake

Reflections - Image by Jason Truscott

 

Thing 5 of CPD23 asks us that we consider reflective practice and what it can do for our professional development.

I find the term ‘reflective practice‘ slightly misleading. If this method was simply about developing professional practice through reflection, I would have no problem at all. I’m naturally reflective and I invariably get classed as a reflector whenever I take a Learning Styles questionnaire. The problem is that to engage in reflective practice requires much more than simply… well, reflecting. It’s really what comes after the reflection that is crucial to the process of personal development. From the analysis of any experience I should be deriving some conclusions and, from these, planning the action to be taken in the future. It’s this concluding and planning that I often struggle with, particularly if it has to be documented.

In the last couple of years I have tried to get on top of my personal development plan – which I suppose is the place where I should be summarising all of the actions. With the help of my mentor and my manager, the plan has come a long way from its very vague beginnings, but it’s still very much work in progress. I need to get better at updating it and reacting to change. I also should be incorporating more development actions in the soft skills areas, something that it’s quite difficult to evidence and keep track of.

So yes, I can definitely see the value in using reflective practice, but for me the technique is still work in progress. I feel I can reflect, I just need to get better at taking action. I guess in itself that is evidence of reflective practice 😉